Beer and Wine from the Tomb of Hor-aha
- An online article reported the discovery of beer and wine jars in the
tomb enclosure of Hor-aha by a team from from Yale University, the
Pennsylvania University Museum and New York University at Shunet El-
Zebib, near Abydos. (Subscribers to this list might recall that
fellow SSEA member David O'Connor spoke on the early royal enclosures
at Abydos last November for the Toronto Chapter.)
ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH 5,000 YEAR OLD CHAMBER
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Archeologists uncovered a 5,000-year-old chamber
believed to have been used in the burial rituals of Egypt's first
major pharaoh, and found a cache of 200 rough ceramic beer and wine
jars, Egyptian authorities said Thursday.
The mortuary enclosure of King Hur-Aha, the founder of Egypt's First
Dynasty, also included a chapel stained by what are likely the
remains of sacrificial animals, Egypt's Supreme Council of
Antiquities said. "It is a very important discovery because it would
provide us with new information about the First Dynasty," said Zahi
Hawass, head of the council.
The beer and wine jars were found in excavations along the walls of
the mortuary enclosure of King Khasekhemwy, a Second Dynasty pharaoh
who ruled around 2700 BC.
The mud-brick enclosure was discovered by a joint American excavation
from Yale University, the Pennsylvania University Museum and New York
University at Shunet El-Zebib, near Abydos. Many of Egypt's earlier
pharaohs are buried in Abydos, a holy city 400 kilometres south of
The enclosure is believed to be where the body of King Hur-Aha was
kept during burial rituals. His tomb is nearby in Abydos, though it's
not known whether he was buried there.
The enclosure also included three rectangular tombs with wooden
ceilings covered with reed matting - one with a well-preserved
skeleton of a woman and another tomb with remains of human bones.
Hawass said experts were trying to identify the remains. The
enclosure also contained pots with hieroglyphs indicating they were
made during the reign of Hur-Aha.
Hur-Aha, who ruled around 3100 BC - some 500 years before the
pyramids were built - is considered the first pharaoh of the First
Dynasty, the first royal family to control both Upper and Lower Egypt
in a unified kingdom. But little is known of the era.
Later Egyptian dynasties came to identify Abydos as the burial site
of the god Osiris.